Form and Feeling

In arguments about worship, both sides often cast the issues in terms of “formal styles” vs. “emotional styles.” That has always seemed a false dichotomy. To me, our formal, liturgical Lutheran services are very emotionally moving. Besides, the opposite of “formal” is “informal,” and the opposite of “emotional” is “unemotional.” And “informal” worship styles happen to leave me cold; that is, it leaves me “unemotional.” I realize that other people react differently. The point is, form and feeling can actually... Read more

North Korea attacks South Korea

North Korea shelled a South Korean island, killing two and wounding 19.  South Korea has mobilized its military and is threatening retaliation. The massive artillery barrage launched by North Korea on Tuesday forced its southern neighbor into a state of emergency, with fighter jets put on high alert and the Seoul government threatening “stern retaliation.” An estimated 1,700 civilian residents of the area shelled by North Korea escaped to bunkers, while South Korean President Lee Myung-bak convened an emergency meeting... Read more

Fearfully and wonderfully made

From an article on the human brain: A typical, healthy one houses some 200 billion nerve cells, which are connected to one another via hundreds of trillions of synapses. Each synapse functions like a microprocessor, and tens of thousands of them can connect a single neuron to other nerve cells. In the cerebral cortex alone, there are roughly 125 trillion synapses, which is about how many stars fill 1,500 Milky Way galaxies. via Human brain has more switches than all... Read more

The proletariat votes Republican

Statistical slicing and dicing of the election results shows what I had been saying:  Blue-collar workers, who used to be Democrat’s base, are now overwhelmingly voting Republican.  Higher income folks are voting for the Democrats.  These class dynamics, of course, fly in the face of leftist political theory. Democrats remained strong in areas with the party’s core of minorities and higher-educated whites. But movement of white working-class voters away from the party is a concern for Democrats, especially because of... Read more

More from my brother

I am so glad that my brother started reading and commenting on my blog. In case you missed it, here is more of what he said on that state bank post, in dialogue with tODD: Thank you Todd. It is true that I am new to this blog thing, but I am starting to really get into it now. So much so that I am becoming unproductive at work. On a personal note, my brother (“Dr. Veith”) is four years... Read more

The junk man's revolt

Charles Krauthammer says that our new folk heroes are coming from airports, from that flight attendant who slid out onto the tarmac to the man who told TSA screeners “don’t touch my junk.”  Krauthammer relates the national outrage over these third degree sexual assault patdowns to the revolt against other kinds of government infringement upon our persons.  The whole column is worth reading, but I was struck by this, especially the point about screening pilots: The entire apparatus of the... Read more

Cranach is in a list of top 50 blogs

Joe Carter at the First Things blog lists what he considers the top 50 blogs of the year.  And this  blog is one of them. With an estimated 200 million active blogs written in the English language, choosing the best blogs of the year is a daunting task. Fortunately, I know which ones they are. Listed below are the top 50 blogs that I have found to be the most convicting, enlightening, frustrating, illuminating, maddening, stimulating, right-on and/or wrongheaded during... Read more

Bible translations and metaphor

In my earlier post about the even newer New International Version of the Bible, I complained about how that line of translations is indifferent to metaphor, poetry, and beauty of language. I cited as an example how the new NIV renders “the valley of the shadow of death” as “the dark valley.” I would argue that sensitivity to literary qualities is necessary in an accurate translation. Metaphors are not just ornaments. They express meaning and are essential in expressing complex,... Read more

Reviving the Nonpartisan Party

I don’t know if you noticed, but my brother Jimmy finally read my blog and commented on the State Bank post a few days ago (a topic that he alerted me to). Here is what he said: The history of the Bank of North Dakota is very interesting. It is a product of a populist political organization known as the Nonpartisan League, which was formed in 1915 by a former socialist. It soon took over the Republican party in North... Read more

November 22, 1963

This is the day, 47 years ago, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated and C. S. Lewis died. Also Aldous Huxley, who wrote the prophetic dystopian novel Brave New World. So the day can be seen as something of a watershed–the end of political idealism, the beginning of the post-Christian age, the entry into a new dystopian age, the day the music died, etc. People of my generation remember where they were when they learned that Kennedy was shot. I... Read more
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